Biloxi mayor calls Katrina "Our tsunami" - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Biloxi mayor calls Katrina "Our tsunami"

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August 30, 2005

Gulfport, MS-- The mayor says "We are valiant people in this part of the world. We will endure. The important thing is that we'll survive."

The category four storm caused massive devastation from Louisiana to Alabama. Much of New Orleans is underwater, and in Mississippi, the death toll caused by the sudden storm surge is growing as emergency workers make their way into the hardest hit areas.

Gulfport, Mississippi survivors of hurricane Katrina began assessing their neighborhoods. Homes are heavily damaged if not destroyed. Streets are littered with wood and debris. The governor says he fears as many as 80 people lost their lives in just Harrison County where Gulfport is located.

The damage in Biloxi, Mississippi is described as total devastation. The storm surge piled up parked cars like toys. Katrina flattened houses that withstood thirty-five years of hurricanes including powerful Camille in 1969. The mainstay of Biloxi’s economy, the casinos, is probably months from recovery. Five of them have been severely damaged. There’s plenty of evidence of tremendous wind damage, too.

Eighty percent of New Orleans is under water. In some sections the water is 20 feet deep. The governor of Louisiana is working to evacuate thousands of people who have taken shelter in the Superdome. The city is rapidly filling with water because of two levees that broke.

Neighborhoods north of the city have been flooded, with only rooftops visible from the air.

There’s damage in Georgia also. Several buildings in the center of Helen, including the Econo Lodge, were damaged by the remnants of Katrina. The town is a tourist draw because of its architecture and its picturesque location in the north Georgia mountains. Only four people were staying in the Econo lodge, all on the first floor, when the storm ripped the roof of the second floor.

Tropical storm Katrina is being blamed for some heavy damage in west Georgia. In Carroll county at least one person is dead and more than thirty homes and buildings are damaged. Tornados spawned by Katrina ripped apart homes and toppled trees.

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